It appeared on Sunday that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has bowed to international pressure to continue security cooperation with Israel.
The PA had threatened to sever the long-time arrangement after the death of Ziad Abu Ein, the minister who died shortly after a confrontation with security forces at a protest demonstration last week. Abbas blamed the Israelis for his death, though autopsy results indicated he died of a heart attack which might have been brought on by stress. Abu Ein had a history of cardiac problems.
A confidant of Abbas said that the Palestinians will maintain the security cooperation with Israel as long as it serves the Palestinians’ interests.
The United States and some European states were urging the Palestinians not to act rashly.
Secretary of State John Kerry reportedly discussed the matter with Abbas on the phone last week. Abbas’s office maintained Kerry called to offer condolences over Abu Ein’s death.
But a PA official confirmed that Kerry asked Abbas to refrain from taking decisions that could “complicate the situation and damage any chance of resuming the stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.”
Israel has said the security cooperation should continue. But Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon told reporters on Friday, “Ending the security coordination is a greater threat to the Palestinian Authority than it is to us.”